World AIDS Day: Words of Thanks

Dear Friend, Just a week after we gather with our families to celebrate Thanksgiving, we pause to commemorate a more somber occasion: World AIDS Day. This observance each December 1 is a time to take note of the toll this awful pandemic exacts: the lives taken, the futures dimmed, the families broken apart. But to […]

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Fighting Global Poverty, Caring for Creation

Dear Friend, As the summer was drawing to a close, we heard of the death of Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution, which lifted millions of people, mostly in Asia, out of hunger through the production of high-yield varieties of wheat. Despite Dr. Borlaug’s achievements, we commemorate this year’s World Food Day on […]

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A Tribute to CRS Pioneers Yesterday and Today

Dear Friend, In 1943, as war raged across Europe, a Polish-American priest from Chicago was dispatched on an urgent mission of mercy. Thousands upon thousands of bedraggled Polish refugees fleeing Soviet forced-labor camps in Siberia were streaming into Iran, seeking safe haven. The refugees, most of them women and children, along with some elderly men, […]

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Caritas in Veritate Guides CRS Thought and Work

Dear Friend, More than two decades ago, several theologians wrote a book titled Catholic Social Teaching: Our Best Kept Secret. At the time, it was true. Hopefully, with the publication of Pope Benedict’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth), more people will become aware of the treasure that is Catholic social teaching.

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In Moldova, Helping Women in Jeopardy

In Moldova, the poorest country in Europe, CRS is working to provide options to vulnerable women at risk of being trafficked.

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Words of Wisdom to College Grads: ‘Engage the World’

Dear Friend, This time of year, I have the pleasure of engaging in one of the favorite parts of my job: offering a few words of wisdom to graduating college students. In years past, I’ve spoken at commencements across the country, from the University of San Diego on the West Coast, to Siena College and […]

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Mother’s Day: Celebrating and Supporting Families

Dear Friend, The highly skilled professionals who work at international humanitarian organizations have developed our own “insider” language to describe the work we do. For example, many humanitarians refer to the people we serve as “stakeholders.” Others call them “beneficiaries.” I prefer to use another term: families.

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Helping Poor Farmers Cultivate Markets, Income

Dear Friend, A few years ago, we were looking for ways to help farmers in Tanzania and our staff come up with a project to combine microfinance savings groups with agricultural promotion. With private donations from the Ryan Memorial Foundation, they started the Chickpea Market Promotion project. It had a modest goal of forming 10 […]

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CRS Collection Offers Chance to Participate

Dear Friend, I visited Zimbabwe a week before the swearing-in of the opposition leader as prime minister by his erstwhile enemy President Mugabe, which initiated the Unity Government. While there, I traveled to see Catholic Relief Services’ programs and express the solidarity of American Catholics with the bishops of this troubled country. I was accompanied […]

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Operation Rice Bowl Helps Feed the Hungry

Dear Friend, As we prepare to observe Lent, many of us find ourselves preoccupied with the hardships brought on by the global economic crisis that followed closely on the heels of a global food crisis. Amid dire economic news, we see the signs of stress placed upon our families and friends—the stress of dealing with […]

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